ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEES
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Director/Producer/Writer/Cinematographer: Hubert Sauper
Producers: Edouard Mauriat, Antonin Svoboda, Martin Gschlacht, Barbara Albert, Hubert Toint
Artistic Collaboration: Sandor Rieder, Nick Flynn
Editor: Denise Vindevogel
Mille et une productions, Paris; coop99 filmproduktion, Vienna; Saga Film, Bruxelles; ARTE, WDR, VPRO Amsterdam, SVT Stokholm, YLE 2 Helsinki , CBC Toronto
Sometime in the 1960s in the heart of Africa, a new animal was introduced into Lake Victoria as a little scientific experiment. The Nile Perch, a voracious predator, extinguished almost the entire stock of the native fish species. However, the new fish multiplied so fast that its white fillets are today exported around the world. Huge, hulking ex-Soviet cargo planes come daily to collect the largest catch in exchange for their southbound cargo--Kalashnikovs and ammunition. This booming multinational industry has created an ungodly globalized alliance: an army of local fisherman, World Bank agents, homeless children, Indian factory owners, African ministers, EU commissioners, Tanzanian prostitutes and Russian pilots.
HUBERT SAUPER was born in a small village of Tyrol, in the Austrian Alps. He has lived in Great Britain, Italy, the USA and, for the last ten years, France. He studied film directing in Vienna (University of Performing Arts) and in Paris (Université de Paris VIII.). Sauper teaches film classes in Europe and the USA. The last two documentaries he wrote and directed--Alone with Our Stories (Seule avec Nos Histoires) and Kisangani Diary-were awarded 12 international film prizes.
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Director/Producer/Writer: Alex Gibney
Producers: Jason Kliot, Susan Motamed
Cinematographer: Maryse Alberti
Editor: Alison Ellwood
Composer: Matt Hauser
Executive Producers: Mark Cuban, Todd Wagner, Joana Vicente
Magnolia Pictures, HDNet Films
This is the inside story of one of history's greatest business scandals, in which top executives of America's seventh largest company walked away with over $1 billion, while investors and employees lost everything. Based on the best-selling book The Smartest Guys in the Room by Fortune reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, and featuring insider accounts and incendiary corporate audio and videotapes, the film reveals the almost unimaginable personal excesses of the Enron hierarchy and the utter moral vacuum that posed as corporate philosophy. As a result, we come to understand how the avarice of Enron's traders and their bosses had a shocking and profound domino effect that may shape the face of our economy for years to come.
ALEX GIBNEY recently produced Lightning in a Bottle, a film directed by Antoine Fuqua. Gibney is executive-producing Exiles on Main Street, a series of short films directed by Wayne Wang, Mira Nair and Sherman Alexie, among others. In 2003, Gibney served as the series producer for The Blues, an Emmy-nominated series of seven films in association with executive producer Martin Scorsese. Gibney was also awarded a Grammy for producing the five-CD box set based on the series. His recent credits include the theatrical documentary The Trials of Henry Kissinger (writer/producer); The Fifties (writer/director/producer), an eight-hour documentary miniseries based on the best-selling book by David Halberstam; and The Pacific Century (writer/director/producer), a 10-hour documentary series that earned an Emmy, two Emmy nominations and a DuPont-Columbia Award.
SUSAN MOTAMED recently teamed with Melanie Judd to launch Jumbo Films, a nonfiction feature film production company. Before producing Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Motamed co-produced Lightning in a Bottle, a blues tribute documentary with director Antoine Fuqua and executive producer Martin Scorsese. She served as the supervising producer for the Blues series for PBS, which featured films by directors including Martin Scorsese, Mike Figgis and Wim Wenders. She also co-produced Alex Gibney and Eugene Jarecki's The Trials of Henry Kissinger. In addition to documentaries for PBS, The History Channel, TBS and theatrical release, Motamed's credits include Nick Jr.'s Blues Clues and a number of commercials and music videos. She graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1989.
March of the Penguins (Winner)
Director: Luc Jacquet
Producers: Yves Darondeau, Christophe Lioud, Emmanuel Priou
Cinematographers: Laurent Chalet, Jerome Maison
Writer: Jordan Roberts, based on the screenplay by Luc Jacquet and Michel Fessler
Editor: Sabine Emiliani
Composer: Alex Wurman
Bonne Pioche, Warner Independent Pictures, National Geographic Feature Films
Each winter, alone in the pitiless ice deserts of Antarctica, deep in the most inhospitable terrain on Earth, a truly remarkable journey takes place, as it has for millennia. Emperor penguins abandon the deep blue security of the ocean home and clamber onto the frozen ice to begin their long journey into a region so bleak, so extreme, it supports no other wildlife at this time of year. In single file, the penguins march, blinded by blizzards, buffeted by gale force winds. Resolute, indomitable, driven by the overpowering urge to reproduce, to assure the survival of the species.
Prize-winning filmmaker, documentarian, cameraman and photographer LUC JACQUET is renowned for his nature and wildlife documentaries, which draw heavily on both his scientific background and his great talent for filmed narrative. He received his masters in animal biology from Lyon University and his doctorate in natural mountain habitat management from Grenoble University.
YVES DARONDEAU, CHRISTOPHE LIOUD and EMMANUEL PRIOU studied at the ESRA, a school in Paris specializing in television and cinema, and they all graduated in 1987. Over the next eight years, Darondeau worked in both film and television as an assistant director and a production manager, while Lioud and Priou worked in television-the former as a scriptwriter, cameraman and director, and Priou as an editor, sound recorder, assistant director, production manager, cameraman and documentary director. In 1993, Darondeau, Lioud and Priou formed the production company Bonne Pioche. Since then, the company has produced more than 70 hours of documentaries for all the major French broadcasters and is now developing several international co-productions. Darondeau is also a member of the CNC (National Center of Cinematography) and of the FCM (Foundation for the Musical Production). He recently helped in the creation of SPPAM (Union of TV and music video producers). Lioud is also a member of SATEV (the union of the television press agents). Priou is president of the SPI (the union of the independent producers) and is an active member of the AST (Association for Science and Television).
Directors: Henry Alex Rubin, Dana Adam Shapiro
Producers: Jeffrey Mandel, Dana Adam Shapiro
Executive Producers: Randy Manis, Jeff Sackman, Mark Urman, Micah Green
Cinematographers: Henry Alex Rubin
Editor: Geoffrey Richman
Composer: Jamie Saft
Like any other great sports story, Murderball features fierce rivalry, stopwatch suspense, dazzling athletic prowess, larger-than-life possibilities and triumph over daunting odds. But Murderball, the original name for the full-contact sport now known as quad rugby, is played by quadriplegics in armored wheelchairs. Murderball is a story like no other, told by men who see the world from a different angle.
DANA ADAM SHAPIRO is a former senior editor at Spin magazine and a contributor to The New York Times Magazine and other publications. His first novel, The Every Boy, was published by Houghton Mifflin last July. Murderball is his first film.
As a documentary filmmaker, HENRY ALEX RUBIN made the award-winning Who is Henry Jaglom? (PBS; First Run Features) and Freestyle (featuring Mos Def, The Roots, Jurassic 5), which was picked up by Palm Pictures after winning Best Documentary at the Woodstock and Urbanworld Film Festival. Additionally, he directed second-unit on such films as Cop Land and Girl Interrupted. He is currently directing a mockumentary starring Winona Ryder.
Director/Producer/Cinematographer/Editor/Writer: Marshall Curry
Executive Producers: Liz Garbus, Rory Kennedy, Sally Jo Fifer, Cara Mertes
Composer: James Baxter
Marshall Curry Productions, LLC; Moxie Firecracker Films, ITVS, P.O.V./American Documentary, PBS
Street Fight covers the turbulent campaign of Cory Booker, a 32-year old Rhodes Scholar/Yale Law School graduate running for mayor of Newark, New Jersey against James Sharpe, the four-term incumbent twice his age. An urban David-and-Goliath story, the film chronicles the young man's struggle against the city's entrenched political machine, which routinely uses strong-arm tactics to hold onto power. The battle sheds light on important questions about democracy, power, poverty and race. When the mayor accuses the Ivy League-educated challenger of not being "really black," the campaign forces voters to examine how we define race in America.
Street Fight is MARSHALL CURRY's first feature-length film. He has worked for many years as a senior producer at Icon Nicholson, a New York-based multimedia design firm, where he created interactive documentaries and websites for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, among others. Through his company, Marshall Curry Productions, LLC, he has shot, edited and directed a number of short films for nonprofits, including The Day the Indians Won (for the Rainforest Foundation) and Negril Elementary (for the Rockhouse Foundation). Curry is a graduate of Swarthmore College, where he studied comparative religion and was a Eugene Lang Scholar. He was also a Jane Addams Fellow at Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy.
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
The Death of Kevin Carter
Director/Producer/Cinematographer/Writer/Editor: Dan Krauss
Composer: Justin Melland
Kevin Carter was part of a tightly knit band of white South African photojournalists known as "The Bang Bang Club"-four friends who found their calling in the war-ravaged black townships during the bloody end of Apartheid. They were adrenaline junkies on a courageous mission: to get the picture. At any cost. But after Apartheid ended, Carter found himself haunted by his pictures--even the one that won him the Pulitzer Prize. Only weeks after being bestowed with that honor, Kevin carried out a terrible act of desperation-an act that, 10 years later, seems to embody the anguish of an entire nation.
DAN KRAUSS is a documentary film director and cameraman based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Previously, he worked as a photojournalist for eight years, on staff at the Associated Press and at the San Francisco Examiner. During that time he covered major news stories in the US as well as in Africa and the Middle East. His most recent assignment as a documentary cameraman took him back to Africa, this time to the desert plains of Namibia. Krauss was trained in filmmaking at University of California, Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. The Death of Kevin Carter is his first film.
God Sleeps in Rwanda
Directors/Producers/Cinematographers/Writers: Kimberlee Acquaro, Stacy Sherman
Editor: Craig Tanner
The 1994 Rwandan genocide left the country nearly 70 percent female, handing Rwanda's women an extraordinary burden and an unprecedented opportunity. An inspiring story of loss and redemption, God Sleeps in Rwanda focuses on the spirit of women survivors to overcome the genocide's legacy of grief and loss. The film follows five courageous women as they rebuild their lives and, in doing so, redefine women's roles in Rwandan society and bring hope to a wounded nation.
KIMBERLEE ACQUARO is a filmmaker and photojournalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, US News &,World Report, Mother Jones and Time Magazine, as well as many international publications. Her work has been featured on CBS' 48 Hours, BBC/PRI's The World, The Voice of America and NPR. She was awarded a 2001 Pew Fellowship in International Journalism for her work documenting Rwandan women's emerging rights and roles in the country's reconciliation and reconstruction. Her work is currently on display through the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (www.ushmm.org/exhibit/online/kimberlee).
STACY SHERMAN holds a bachelor's degree from UCLA in international relations and a master's degree from USC in journalism. She has written screenplays for 20th Century Fox and Tri-Star Pictures and is currently writing a screenplay for Imagine Entertainment and Warner Bros. Sherman has also co-written, co-produced and co-directed Waitress, a documentary short about Kaye Coleman, a Los Angeles waitress who died in 2005, but touched hundreds of lives with her humanity and spirit. Sherman lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.
The Mushroom Club
Director/Producer/Cinematographer/Writer/Editor: Steven Okazaki
Executive Producers: Tomoko Watanabe, Peggy Orenstein
Twenty-five years ago, in his documentary Survivors, Steven Okazaki interviewed men and women who had lived through the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In 2005, he returned to this subject and its many unresolved questions to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing. The Mushroom Club offers an urgent reminder of the destructive legacy of war, and a plea for more thoughtful engagement.
Both a personal reflection and a moving portrait of the city and people of Hiroshima, the film explores the legacy of the bombing, from its myths and monuments to its survivors, to the complex politics of pacifism and militarization that Japan still struggles with today.
STEVEN OKAZAKI began his career in 1976; after graduating from San Francisco State University's film school he started producing children's films about racism for Churchill Films. His short documentary A-m-e-r-i-c-a-n-s was broadcast on CBS in1977. In 1985, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Unfinished Business, which related the story of three Japanese Americans who challenged the incarceration of their people. In 1991, he won an Academy Award and a Peabody Award for Days of Waiting, the story of artist Estelle Ishigo, one of the few Caucasians to be interned with Japanese Americans during World War II. In 1999, he made the powerful, Emmy-nominated HBO documentary Black Tar Heroin: The Dark End of the Street. He recently produced Rehab for HBO and is also working on Nikkei Style, about what it means to be Japanese American.
A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin (Winner)
Director/Producer/Editor: Eric Simonson
Producer: Corinne Marrinan
Composer: Henry Wiggen
Computer Animation: David Kashevaroff
Noma Films LLC
On the evening of VE Day, May 5, 1945, Norman Corwin, the oft called "poet laureate of radio drama," presented a radio program that galvanized and electrified the nation. The broadcast, On a Note of Triumph, was a moment that would mark the end of a long national struggle, and, in another sense, set a new standard for the art of radio drama. This documentary is an examination of the greatest radio presentation in the history of the medium and how it remains eerily prescient in light of today's current events.
ERIC SIMONSON is a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. There he directed, adapted and acted in numerous productions including The Song of Jacob Zulu (Tony Award Nomination, Best Director) and Nomathemba, both of which were collaborations with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Working with Mambazo inspired him to create the short documentary film On Tip Toe: Gentle Steps to Freedom, which was presented by HBO, garnered an IDA Award and was nominated for both Emmy and Academy Awards in 2001. In addition to numerous theatre projects, Eric's film directing credits include Hamlet with Campbell Scott, Topa Topa Bluffs and Ladies Room L.A. He is the recipient of the Princess Grace Award and the NCCJ Media Arts Award.
CORINNE MARRINAN co-produced On Tip Toe: Gentle Steps to Freedom. She is currently an associate producer for the CBS dramas CSI, CSI: Miami and CSI: NY, and recently authored the CSI Companion, published by Simon and Schuster. Prior to working in film and television, Marrinan was a professional stage manager, having worked with The Goodman Theatre, The Huntington Theatre, The Royal National Theatre of Great Britain, among many others. She is a graduate of Boston University Theatre.